The Festive Season starts with The Nutcracker

© Dave Morgan

© Dave Morgan

As far as I’m concerned, it wouldn’t be Christmas without The Nutcracker. You know how the story goes – a little girl, Clara, is given a nutcracker for Christmas by a magician and when midnight strikes finds herself embroiled in a fight to the death with giant mice and then transported to the kingdom of sweets. All this, plus Tchaikovsky’s fabulous music and a Christmas tree that grows to giant proportions. It’s the essence of Christmas. Continue reading

Another Christmas Nutcracker

I didn’t book for The Nutcracker this year. Actually, I never book for The Nutcracker. It’s such a Christmas ballet, you’ve got to have the smell of Christmas in your nostrils before you buy your ticket, otherwise it’s no fun. And there’s no Royal Ballet Nutcracker this year either – they’re doing Alice in Wonderland instead. So I went to see the English National Ballet version, and jolly good it was too. Continue reading

Japanese Dancers at the English National Ballet

ENB Le Corsaire

Things have got a lot more exciting in the London ballet world since Tamara Rojo took over as Artistic Director of the English National Ballet. Suddenly there’s a buzz around London’s second ballet company. We expected her to do amazing things and she has – including poaching one of the Royal Ballet’s top dancers, Alina Cojocaru, to star in ENB’s new production of Le Corsaire. It’s a show that features many of the company’s Japanese dancers so it’s a good chance to take a look at some of them. Continue reading

If it’s Christmas it must be the Nutcracker… again

ENB Nutcracker

Yes, it’s back – the dancing snowflakes, the giant Christmas tree, the sugarplum fairy and the nutcracker that turns into a handsome prince. One of the great ballet favourites is making its regular Christmas appearance and this year Londoners have a choice of two brilliant productions. Here’s my introduction to them both, including details of the Japanese dancers in each one. Continue reading